Beyond thermal melanism : association of wing melanization with fitness and flight behaviour in a butterfly

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Rosa , E & Saastamoinen , M 2020 , ' Beyond thermal melanism : association of wing melanization with fitness and flight behaviour in a butterfly ' , Animal Behaviour , vol. 167 , pp. 275-288 .

Title: Beyond thermal melanism : association of wing melanization with fitness and flight behaviour in a butterfly
Author: Rosa, Elena; Saastamoinen, Marjo
Contributor organization: Research Centre for Ecological Change
Life-history Evolution Research Group
Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE
Date: 2020-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Animal Behaviour
ISSN: 0003-3472
Abstract: Cold developmental conditions can greatly affect adult life history of ectotherms in seasonal habitats. Such effects are mostly negative, but sometimes adaptive. Here, we tested how cold conditions experienced during pupal development affect adult wing melanization of an insect ectotherm, the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia. We also assessed how in turn previous cold exposure and increased melanization can shape adult behaviour and fitness, by monitoring individuals in a seminatural set-up. We found that, despite pupal cold exposure inducing more melanization, wing melanization was not linked to adult thermoregulation preceding flight, under the conditions tested. Conversely, wing vibrating behaviour had a major role in producing heat preceding flight. Moreover, more melanized individuals were more mobile across the experimental set-up. This may be caused by a direct impact of melanization on flight ability or a more indirect impact of coloration on behaviours such as mate search strategies and/or eagerness to disperse to more suitable mating habitats. We also found that more melanized individuals of both sexes had reduced mating success and produced fewer offspring, which suggests a clear fitness cost of melanization. Whether the reduced mating success is dictated by impaired mate search behaviour, reduced physical condition leading to a lower dominance status or weakened visual signalling remains unknown. In conclusion, while there was no clear role of melanization in providing a thermal advantage under our seminatural conditions, we found a fitness cost of being more melanized, which potentially impacted adult space use behaviour. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Subject: butterfly
life history
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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